Wednesday, May 26, 2010


"José was baptized this week! He´s been super easy to teach because he not only accepts our commitments, but he actually keeps them. I haven´t taught him a lesson where he isn´t all smiles. He even called his girlfriend to let us talk to her about the church! The best part about his baptism was that he was baptized by my recent convert! Sis. Judd and I taught Samuel and he was baptized a little over 2 months ago. He´s super strong in the gospel and loves learning more about the church. He was readily accepted our invitation to baptize José and it was a great experience for everyone that attended the baptism." "I´ve officially given up my name. I no longer introduce myself as "Sister Riggs" but I am now "Seester Higgies". I´m just so tired of people forgetting my name because it´s too hard to pronounce. In our lessons with members and less actives it was always "Sis. Judd/Sis. Santos can say the opening prayer and the other one can say the closing prayer." I don´t want to be`"the other one" I want a name! I´ve been fighting the seester higgies for over 3 months and decided that I can´t win....bleh it´s so ugly!"

This is a group photo of the missionries with Elder Russell M. Nelson, an apostle of Jesus Christ. Sister Riggs is standing right behind Elder Nelson. (NOTE FROM ERIKA'S MOM: I used to work as a nurse on the thoracic unit at LDS Hospital in Utah [before I was married]. Elder Nelson was at that time working as a open heart surgeon and I took care of a lot of his patients. I was even present in the operating room when he was performing one of his operations. I would never had thought that my daughter would one day meet him and be in a photo standing right behind him.!)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sister Judd. . . . . . .Sister Santos

This week has been full of adjustments. I have a new companion! Sis. Judd finished her mission and is back in St. George and my new companion, Sis. Santos is from São Paulo. She´s a recent convert who will celebrate her 3rd year as a member while on the mission. Sis. Judd pushed me a lot and now I have to regroup and learn to push myself. I was the soft one in the companionship with Sis. Judd. If an investigator wanted sympathy for their excuses as to why they didn´t read or go to church, they directed their questions to me but now I´ve become the brass knuckles.

Me with Presidente and Sister Tobias after our 3 hour car ride together to take Sis. Judd to Goiânia.

Beautiful Brazil...picture from our 4 1/2 hour bus ride from Goiânia to Rio Verde. This past week was FREEZING! One member said it was 5 degraus. I have no idea what the conversion rate is for a degrau, but it sounds cold! I went to sleep with my crazy pants, knee length sweats, and basketball shorts, 2 t-shirts, my windbreaker, blazer jacket, 3 pairs of socks on my feet and 1 pair on my comfortor and 2 towels. Luckily the cold front here in Brazil lasts less than a week, and now it´s back to blazing.

Last night we got to take one of our recent converts, Samuel, on some visits with us. He got to help with the lessons and is fellowshipping a man named José who we are preparing to baptize this Sunday. After our lesson with José he quickly said, "Essa mensagem nos deixamos com você em nome de Jesus Cristo, amém. Sempre quería dizer isso!" (translation: This message we leave with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. I´ve always wanted to say this!) He was super excited to help us and we are working on sending him on a mission of his own. He´s 19 years old and would be the best missionary! He answers all the questions in Gospel Principles and asks really good questions, too. I feel like a mom. I´m so proud of him!

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Companion

"I am back here in Rio Verde after 2 days in Goiânia. My companion Sis. Judd finished her mission and is headed home to St. George. I picked up my new companion at the bus terminal...Sis. Santos...Brazilian! The best part of the trip to Goiânia was the fact that we traveled with Presidente and Sister Tobias in their car. Of course I let Sis. Judd ask all the questions she wanted, but I was there scribbling down notes as fast as my hand could write. We have an amazing mission president and I´ll be sad when he is released at the end of June. It really is true that you grow to love those you pray for. I don´t know Presidente Tobias super well...that´s what happens when he has over 140 missionaries to take care of, not a whole lot of one-on-one time. But I pray for him and his wife almost every day and I LOVE THEM!"

"This past Saturday we had a wedding in the church! Celia and Tiago, our miracle couple that were baptized 1 month ago, got married in the church. They were already legally married, but Celia wanted a white dress and altar ceremony. It was super fun to be a part of this special moment in their lives."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baptism Miracle

". . . this Saturday we got to be part of a miracle baptism. We´ve been teaching a man named Vaterlan... Presidente Tobias aksed every companionship to find a baptism for Saturday. . . (we) extended the baptismal invitation (to Vaterlan) this past Wednesday. He said he would pray to have an answer and would let us know when he was ready. Well the days went by and every day when we visited him he said he still wasn´t sure. But then...on Friday, he said that he was ready to be baptized the next day! The miracle part of this is that he works every Saturday, even holidays. This past Saturday was a holiday...The Day of the Workers, which means that he got the day off! He was baptized Saturday, confirmed on Sunday and it felt so good to be able to meet the request of my mission president."

-Ya, I let Sister Judd kill this one...I was too busy screaming from the top of my chair. And yes, it was the size of my big toe BLEH!